A roundup of Bangkok’s best up-and-coming, organic beauty and skincare brands
Bangkok Soap Opera
In today’s world, where finding a beauty product made without harsh sulfates and parabens is practically an Olympic sport, Bangkok Soap Opera is dedicated to creating high quality vegan goods suitable for every age and skin type. Owner Maria Kalita stresses the importance of only using products that are good for not only our physical health, but the environment too. She is firm in her principle of using only ingredients that can be found in the everyday kitchen. What’s more, each product is 100 percent natural, containing only ingredients that are edible and therefore safe to put on one’s skin. Her booth at the Bangkok Farmer’s Market is always humming with curious customers. The company also stands out from the crowd for its array of educational workshops (pictured above), including how to make your own natural soaps and perfumes at home.
As a brand, whose name is simultaneously an acronym for “beauty and natural herb”, while also denoting the Thai word meaning “to bloom” (or “a new beginning”), Banh is the passion project of three siblings from Nonthaburi. The trio pride themselves on creating vegan bath products that are both handmade and of luxury quality. Unlike mainstream beauty brands that tout all-natural ingredients, Bahn’s products come without the hefty price tag and, perhaps most importantly, damage to the environment. Their signature biodegradable soap comes in charcoal, young rice milk, and mangosteen, and their shower gel is made with either goat milk, honey, or green tea. You can find them at Gourmet Market shops throughout the city, or on their online website (which also provides international shipping).
The term “posology” refers to the study of the dosages of drugs, and Kenneth Wibunsin gets it just right with his line of plant-based skin elixirs, tinctures, and personal care products created with the intention to promote one’s health and wellbeing. For newbies, the world of homeopathy might at first seem intimidating, but Mr. Wibunsin is more than happy to ease skeptics in with detailed explanations of the ingredients and benefits of Essential Po.sol.o.gy. Each tonic is custom-blended with care, and it’s clear that the man behind this project is passionate about everyday health and wellness concerns. Try the Wild Lemon Balm, which possesses calming effects, is rich in antioxidants, and reduces skin ailments. You can find his booth at the Bangkok Farmer’s Market.
Thank U Earth
Charcoal, renowned for its detoxifying prowess, is the hottest ingredient in skincare these days, but Thank U Earth proves that it’s not just a passing fad. Each product is charcoal-based and sulfate-free, packaged in stylish black and green bottles. In addition to charcoal, they also incorporate natural herbal extracts known for their healing properties, such as tea tree oil and aloe vera, as well as infusing vitamin B formulas. For those struggling with skin breakouts, dullness, or oiliness, their bestselling Charcoal Detoxifying Acne Face Cleanser is sure to ease your complexion concerns. Meanwhile, their Charcoal Detoxifying Herbal Shampoo will also cleanse the scalp of dirt without stripping your hair of its natural oils, thereby strengthening the roots and preventing unwanted fallout.
Founded by a family of coconut farmers in Surat Thani, it’s no surprise that the key ingredient to Tropicana’s extensive array of soaps, exfoliating scrubs, lotions, and body oils is virgin coconut oil. If you’ve ever wondered what it means for a cosmetic product to be “virgin”, it means that the oil has been cold-pressed from the source without the use of heat. This method best amplifies the health benefits of coconut oil and keeps it pure from chemicals. Coconut oil is also loaded with antioxidants that help your body ward off free radicals, making it something of a miracle ingredient. With the moisturizing strength of coconut oil at the helm, the various products are custom-blended with other natural extracts that promote healing. Tropicana products can be found at Thai 7-Eleven stores, or purchased via the company website.
Backed by scientific research and development, Mindhara believes that nature-based remedies are the surest path to personal beauty and health. While the big names in the cosmetics industry rely on some harmful ingredients to create their products, founder Parisdon Akrasittihiran boasts a not-so-secret ingredient that is just as effective but better for both us and the environment—jasmine rice. This has the benefit of anti-radicals and also promotes the formation of collagen. The rice, ground together with yeast, is then blended with natural herbs, maximizing nature’s full potential. Relying on rice has the added bonus of benefiting local rice farmers, as well. You can’t go wrong with their Natural Facial Mask, which will leave your skin plump and radiant. Mindhara also has a line of rice-based anti-hair loss products, which promote new hair growth at the root.
By Allison Nicole Smith